Utah Supreme Court
2003 UT 16, 70 P.3d 47
The distinction between legislative and administrative decisions determines the proper standard of review. For legislative decisions, the standard is a highly deferential version of the “arbitrary and capricious” standard. Legislative decisions will be upheld if it is reasonably debateable that the decision promotes the general welfare.
The enactment and amendment of zoning ordinances is fundamentally a legislative act, and zoning decisions are entitled to particular deference when reviewed. Legislative decisions may not be delegated to other bodies.
Administrative decisions are reviewed using the “substantial evidence” standard. Administrative decisions do not make general policy or adopt ordinances, but are decisions on specific land use applications applying general laws and ordinances.
Substantial evidence is that quantum and quality of relevant evidence that is adequate to convince a reasonable mind to support a conclusion.
Comments from citizens are a valuable and legitimate source of information for legislative zoning decisions. It is presumed that members of legislative bodies will measure public comments against their own knowledge, as well as other facts that may be presented.